Exhibiting nominal growth rates of approximately 20% every year, business process outsourcing (BPO) is the Philippines’ most successful major sector. It tripled in size between 2004 and 2007 as a result of the global financial boom, growing from 100,000 to 300,000 employees and achieving revenues of $4.8bn. While accounting for only about 2% of national employment in 2012, the sector still makes an oversized contribution to the country’s GDP and especially to growth – directly and indirectly – as it creates demand for office space, telecoms services and the consumerist lifestyles of its young employees. Growth in 2013-14 could be especially hurt by the collapse of the Indian rupee in mid-2013, which will make India’s BPO sector formidably competitive. The Philippines will need to aggressively position itself as a provider of premium quality service to retain and continue to draw cost-sensitive, fleet-footed BPO clients.
This chapter contains an interview with Jose Mari Mercado, President & CEO, Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).